MAS had placed EAM on the Investor Alert List on 19 March 2020, to highlight that Envy Asset Management (Envy) may have been wrongly perceived as being licensed by MAS. MAS had received public feedback that Envy had told customers that it was in the process of applying for a licence from MAS, when in fact no such application had been submitted. MAS subsequently received further information on transactions carried out by Envy, as well as its related entity, EGT. MAS conducted a deeper review and shared its findings with the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD).
Cheating charges and fraudulent trading brought in the State Courts against Ng Yu Zhi, a director of Envy Asset Management Pte Ltd (Envy) and Envy Global Trading Pte Ltd (EGT), the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said that Envy and EGT are not licensed by MAS.
Envy and EGT are believed to have been engaged in an investment fraud scheme between October 2017 and February 2021 involving the purported trading of nickel. Firms that deal in or invest funds for qualified investors in physical assets (i.e. not capital markets products ) are not required to be licensed by MAS. This approach is broadly similar to that taken in other major financial centres. MAS is nevertheless examining Envy’s and EGT’s investment documents and other available evidence to see if they have been engaging in capital markets products or in any activity that would have required the two firms to obtain a MAS licence.
On 19 March 2020, MAS had placed Envy on the Investor Alert List, to highlight that Envy may have been wrongly perceived as being licensed by MAS. MAS had received public feedback that Envy had told customers that it was in the process of applying for a licence from MAS, when in fact no such application had been submitted. MAS subsequently received further information on transactions carried out by Envy, as well as its related entity, EGT. MAS conducted a deeper review and shared its findings with the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD).
Mr Ng is alleged to have cheated Envysion Wealth Management Pte Ltd (EWMPL) and its founder and CEO, Shim Wai Han, of at least $48 million. EWMPL is a MAS-licensed fund manager. Following CAD’s commencement of investigations into EGT in February 2021, MAS issued directions to EWMPL to:
• cease accepting new monies for investment into EGT’s nickel scheme;
• inform affected investors of the Police investigation into EGT and the fund’s status; and
• appoint an independent third party to oversee all transactions of the fund’s bank accounts.
MAS is closely monitoring EWMPL’s implementation of the directions, to ensure that investors are treated fairly.
MAS is also conducting a supervisory review of EWMPL to ascertain if there have been governance or risk management failures by its board and senior management. MAS expects licensed fund managers to practice robust governance to safeguard the interest of their investors. This includes performing proper due diligence before undertaking investments and addressing concentration and other risks to investors.
Notwithstanding that EAM and EGT are not licensed by MAS, MAS is concerned with the scale of the alleged investment fraud scheme. MAS, CAD and MoneySense have repeatedly advised investors to be aware of the risks of dealing with entities that are not regulated by MAS. MAS is working closely with CAD to ascertain the number of individuals and companies that may have suffered losses. The Singapore authorities will continue to work together to take swift action against persons suspected of perpetrating fraudulent activity.
Read more about it Monetary Authority of Singapore website
Our regulatory compliance experts can help you determine if your company is up to date with the latest regulations with compliance reviews, and we offer as well ongoing support for all your compliance needs.
Follow us on LinkedIn for regular updates.